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"Has anyone used an alternative activation system in FOW?" Topic

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Nick B06 Mar 2015 7:17 a.m. PST

Has anyone successfully used an alternative system for activation for FOW? By which I mean – moving away from IGO-UGO to something like Bolt Action or CoC?



John the OFM06 Mar 2015 7:30 a.m. PST

Nothing wrong with IGO/UGO.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Mar 2015 7:35 a.m. PST

I do alternating platoons instead. Works great tho it works best with 4 players or less

Tgunner06 Mar 2015 11:26 a.m. PST

I think FoW is fine as it is but that's my opinion. YMMV. but have you tried porting Bolt Action's system into the game. Granted the orders might not work, but pulling chits out of a bvag and activating units as you go could work. Give it a shot.

wizbangs07 Mar 2015 4:58 a.m. PST

We play IGO/UGO but for each phase: I move, you move, I shoot, you shoot, etc. We roll for initiative at the start of each turn. It keeps both players involved rather than one guy sitting back while a whole turn of damage is inflicted upon him.

War Panda07 Mar 2015 7:07 a.m. PST

Nick I did try FoW with a random card activation very smilier to IABSM. If you're not familiar it's where each unit/platoon and leader has its own card and it activates when the card is drawn. I really enjoy it for IABSM but I didn't feel it worked as well with FoW. The games simplicity and flow seemed stunted. Anyway IMO I think if you were determined to change Extra Crispy's way might be the way to go

basileus6607 Mar 2015 7:55 a.m. PST

I was thinking about using an activation system similar to the one used in "Angola" (a boardgame). There you select a number of cards, you chose in which order you wish to activate them in the current game turn; your opponent does the same. Then both sides reveal a card alternatively, activating their columns. In FoW it could be used to activate your platoons to perform actions; it is a IGOYUGO system but it allows for a certain fog of war -you don't know what your opponent will activate next- and also forces both sides to commit in advance to a plan. I think it can work with miniatures games too, but I haven't tried it yet.

Chatticus Finch07 Mar 2015 8:16 a.m. PST

I actually developed a whole rule system based around "Initiative" rolls, redesigned the combat and movement phases, and have even incorporated that "love-it-or-hate-it" beast known as Overwatch.

Also incorporated 'Blinds' (recon becomes a critical component!) and also even added a timer limit as well for the madder of us.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Mar 2015 11:20 a.m. PST


Care to share? I'd love to see a copy.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Mar 2015 11:22 a.m. PST

By the way, it is very important to know how many players you're talking about. Typically in my FoW games we have 4/side. So when we alternate, each player gets to activate one platoon.

If you only have 2 players (1/side) then really the game seems fine as is.

RetroBoom08 Mar 2015 12:18 a.m. PST

Ive been dying to try FoW using the featherstone model of You move, I move, and then simultaneous shooting, resolving shots from units that didn't move before those that did.

Have to work around a couple specific rules, but sounds very simple and very realistic.

wizbangs08 Mar 2015 5:08 a.m. PST

Cheese, the problem with allowing stationary units to shoot first is that they are already getting the benefit of being stationary with their increased rate of fire. If you give them priority in the shooting phase then the game becomes unbalanced in favor of the defender. (This learned beause I attempted the same system).

Chatticus Finch08 Mar 2015 6:23 a.m. PST

Extra, sent you a copy, let us know what you think?

I personally like the armoured assault rule I added where after the first charge they have to open hatches to keep fighting or must drive through if they want to stay buttoned up. Makes a more realistic use of amrour (seriously, no tankie in their right mind stays in close combat with infantry!)

Mako1108 Mar 2015 12:42 p.m. PST

"If you give them priority in the shooting phase then the game becomes unbalanced in favor of the defender".

Errr, I hate to mention this, but, historically, the defender is significantly advantaged in real life.

That's why set-piece, evenly matched battles don't work, and you need 3:1 odds as a general rule of thumb to assault the enemy's defensive position successfully. 5:1 odds, or better are needed for fighting in built-up areas.

War Panda08 Mar 2015 1:09 p.m. PST

@Chatticus Finch

Could you please send me a copy too :)
I'm away on holidays right now so no play testing but plenty of time to read :)

johndillon77 at hotmail dot com

Thanks in advance


Chatticus Finch08 Mar 2015 4:46 p.m. PST

I'll send you a copy once I've left the office Panda! As I said to Cripsy, let us know what you think! :)

The document isn't pretty (it's a WIP, so it is a little over the shop) but it is functional for purposes.

War Panda08 Mar 2015 7:16 p.m. PST

Thanks for that Chatticus :)

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2015 9:10 p.m. PST

Got it too. Will give it a closer read this week…

wizbangs10 Mar 2015 1:47 p.m. PST

Mako11: if you allow stationary units to fire first it will take much more than 3:1 odds for a successful offensive. You're looking at 5:1 to 6:1 at a minimum. That was the point. I would hope most readers of this board understand the rudimentary equation that you can't launch a successful offensive if you don't outnumber the enemy 2:1 or 3:1 minimum.

Weasel13 Mar 2015 10:54 a.m. PST

Couldn't you just alternate units and then go through the turn sequence for each unit, when it's activated?

We used to do that for warhammer 40K and it worked pretty well.

alphus9915 Jul 2015 2:38 p.m. PST

@Chatticus Finch, I'd be interested in a copy too:

ab at alphus dot co dot uk

Or why not post the whole thing here.

BrianH14 Mar 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

I would be interested to see house rules or an AAR of an FoW game using one of the alternate activation systems mentioned above.

Thomas Thomas19 Mar 2019 11:01 a.m. PST

Wizbangs idea for joint phases where players alternate based on initiative is by far a better idea than dread random activation (I've tried it with Shot Mom and didn't think it worked well at all).

As to who has to move first let the best quality troops/commander decide.

It is correct that stationary elements should shoot first but this is somewhat double accounted for in the ROF rules. Better to get rid of these rules and let stationary shoot first (this would need some adjusting and work).

But if you did all this you would effectively be playing Combat Command – already in use and playtested

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

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